Lempriere's Dictionary

By Lawrence Norfolk

"An vital and encouraging novel."
VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
It is 18th-century London and John Lempriere, a tender pupil, is writing a dictionary of classical mythology in an try and exorcise the demons raised by way of his father's violent and peculiar dying. whereas tending to his father's company affairs, Lempriere discovers a 150-year previous conspiracy that has stored his relations from its percentage of the fabulously prosperous East India corporation. yet as John starts to untangle the years of puzzle and deceit, humans start to die, in ways in which reflect the very myths he's researching....

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And at the day the ground supplies manner underneath, you'll cling by means of it to your very existence. How company are the main depended on foundations, and what are the issues which needs to be performed to guard them? those have been gradual, visceral questions, requested within the flexing of the palms, the straining of the shoulders. The time had come to respond to these questions, to supply the solutions. no longer as palliatives to a few temper of enquiry, yet as drugs of marble: solutions that may get rid of the very risk of such questions being requested back. by no means requested back. at the back of the home, the pack used to be barking and wailing. Why had they now not been fed? Casterleigh grew to become from the window in a few annoyance, simply as Juliette burst into the room. ‘Papa! Papa! ’ she used to be giggling and out of breath. ‘Sit down Papa, allow me inform you-of my day. ’ His annoyance rose to anger at her intrusion. He grew to become as she ran to him protecting her skirts. ‘Silence! ’ he barked. immediately, she used to be quiet, her face clean. He checked out her, observed the in charge worry in her eyes. He was once soothed. He rested opposed to the table, then spoke back. ‘Tell me of the boy,’ he acknowledged. summer time used to be saying its lead to the sky, sending small, darkish clouds over Jersey. Compacted and black with rain, they appeared unnatural opposed to the deep, carrying on with blue in the back of. A brisk south-westerly used to be whipping the tops of the taller grasses. The clouds handed fast and silently overhead, their shadows racing throughout fields, lanes and homes. regardless of the sun’s intermittent appearances and the robust breeze, morning dew nonetheless clung to the stems of the grass during which he tramped. the trail was once now not walked usually and had develop into overgrown. His sneakers have been rainy via, but he rarely spotted this. He got here to the stile, climbed it and made his manner up the lane in the direction of the Casterleighs’ domestic. the home stood in open lawns yet monitors of timber, staggered at angles to one another, hid it from informal view. Lemprière rounded the second one line of timber and came across his first sight of Casterleigh’s nation condominium. in basic terms part a century outdated, its plum-red bricks had withstood the corrosive results of the ocean air good. the color stood out violently from the gentler vegetables of the encompassing lawns and made the home appear larger than it used to be. nonetheless, it needs to be thirty or 40 yards throughout, he expected. The 4 angles have been rounded and set with bay home windows, giving the edifice the glance of an oval. all of the many huge home windows have been set with scarlet-gauged bricks, and pilasters ran the peak of the development among them, finishing in elaborately carved stone capitals which, of their flip, supported an entablature extending, as far as he might inform, all concerning the development. of the pilasters rose better than the others to outline an attic-storey at the centre of the roof, and, on their tops, stood intricately carved stone figures. yet in spite of his eye-glasses he was once not able to differentiate their designated gains. stone staircases ran up in parallel to satisfy on a balcony in entrance of the most front, the doorways of which now flew open as though pulled violently from inside.

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